Friday, February 29, 2008

Virtual Viral the Victorian Sense

Natalie informs me that I'm the only person who does this, so since it's something that makes me unique I feel I must blog about it. Heh...

When I read a blog entry or message board post about sickness I start to feel like it's catching. Lately on the message boards and blogs I read there have been some gripping and sometimes graphic accounts of whole families suffering from various seasonal ailments. Some of them have the flu, and there is a lot of discussion about who had the flu shot and still got it and to what degree...and did they catch it in the doctor's office, or did the shot lower their resistance, or is this year's shot just not as effective as it should be.

Then there are the tummy trouble postings...the ones that describe (in way too much detail for me) the slaying of an entire family by a vicious GI virus. One post I read recently was a strategic plan for dealing with said virus in a family with many children. The first point of the plan was accepting the fact that everyone in the family would soon have it. The author lost me right there; my first step in dealing with any illness is total denial. "It's just allergies."

Anyway, when I get done reading these posts or messages I find myself feeling slightly queasy, perhaps a little feverish, a trifle fatigued. I start looking at the children to see if they are paler than usual. I get up from the computer and wash my hands thoroughly. And it's usually at that point that it hits me: I only know these people through the Internet. The family I just read about lives across a continent from me. I've never met them, never shaken hands with them or hugged them, never been breathed on by them, never eaten at their table.

It's really highly unlikely I'm catching what they've got. (Besides, as my husband points out when I'm sharing this ridiculous phobia with him, we have a Mac and Macs don't get computer viruses.)

Meanwhile, we live and move in our own realm of this world. A world inhabited by people who get sick and share their germs. So while I am imagining catching dire illnesses from the virtual world, my son is busy socializing with virus-laden strangers at the grocery store, drinking from water fountains in public buildings, hugging his friends, etc. He's sick now, of course. Not that nasty GI thing, just a typical winter respiratory plague.

Or maybe it's just allergies...

PS...if you want to see what The Cat looks like in her human form, you can take a look at the Winston-Salem Journal's little profile of this blog. I know, a genteel lady is only supposed to have her name in the paper when she is born, marries, and dies. Oops.


Jim said...

"• Notable response: Was pleasantly surprised when Mrs. Darling of the Dishpan Dribble blog, which is popular in the mother bloggers and home-school world, posted a comment."

That sounds like something we would have read in the New Berlin newspaper: "Janice passed away Tuesday after a long and particularly dreadful illness. Pastor Frank gave the eulogy at this morning's service; refreshments were served."

Beth said...

No, there's supposed to be something in there about "and a good time was had by all". The New Berlin Bee...wonder if it still exists?

That was the hardest question to answer on the profile, BTW. What if your blog never gets any notable responses?

jennwa said...

I hope your son is feeling better. That GI thing is no fun.
You live pretty close to me so I hope we do not give you anything. Haha. Just kidding with you.

I love your profile in the paper. I think that it is a neat way to share your blog with others. Although I did not get a lot of new readers from it. What I did get was everyone that knew would say, "I saw you in the paper." That was strange.
Have a good weekend.

Jim said...

The New Berlin Bee is still being printed by a firm based in Chatham. Circulation is booming - they have about 500 weekly subscribers. :)

The Bee doesn't have a website... but The Berlin Christian Church does. I'd like to take a field trip to Berlin one of these days and get some pictures of the old school building before it winds up being torn down. One of these days.

Judy said...

I totally understand this.

When I read the blogs of pregnant women, I get morning sickness, even if they don't.

I will turn 50 this year, so it's just wrong.

Also, I remember my mom telling me something about actual physical contact needing to take place.

Oh, well.